[32] Lying Awake, Andrew Hubbard


The crows wake up first
Then the songbirds,
Woodpeckers last of all.

I lie in bed
And listen to the duet
Of the birds and you—
How you breathe in your sleep.

It’s changed a lot over the years.
You didn’t know that.

When we were half our age
It was an even bellows
Deep in, deep out
All night long
With never any change,
Soothing and secure
Strong as the sound of the distant waves
Breaking over and over on a soft shore.

Now it’s changed,
We’ve changed.
I see it in you, but not in me,
You probably see it in me, but not in you.
And love gives us the tact
To rarely talk about it.

This is the exception.

Those strong, steady bellows,
They’re gone now.  Now
You hug me to get warm
Then push me away because you’re too hot.

Your breath hitches, stops, restarts,
There’s a small snore, a swallow,
A string of little bubbles,
A giant thrash of sheets
And a pillow-punch as you turn over,
And then you settle down.

I lie silent, staring at the ceiling, smiling.
The dance is changing
But it’s still a dance
It will always be a dance.

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